Study finds police officers arrested 1,100 times per year, or 3 per day, nationwide

**So far this month, two New York City police commanders have been arrested on corruption allegations, an officer in Killeen, Tex., has been accused of sexually assaulting a female driver, a Philadelphia police officer has been charged with extortion of a drug dealer, and an officer in Honolulu has been accused of raping a 14-year-old girl.

Such sporadic news accounts of police officers being arrested led one group of researchers to a question: How much crime do police officers commit? No one was keeping track, much as no one was tracking how often police officers shoot and kill civilians, although both may involve use of police power and abuse of public trust.

Now there is an answer: Police officers are arrested about 1,100 times a year, or roughly three officers charged every day, according to a new national study.**

The article continues at the link.

There are 1.1 million police officers in the US-that means about 1 hundredth of one per cent are arrested per year. this is news because?

To follow up on estesbob’s numbers, in 2012 there were about 12,000,000 arrests out of a population of 314 million, according to the FBI. That’s an arrest rate of one arrest for every 26 people. Looking now at just the police, if there were 1100 arrests out of 1,100,000 police officers, that is an arrest rate of one police officer for every 1000 police officers. Compared to one out of 26, I’d say the police officers as a group are remarkably good citizens.

Or they’re just better at not getting caught.

It would also assume that other police officers don’t look the other way when another officer breaks the law.

That may be, but there is no way to know that other than by just supposing.

Or they get caught but are not prosecuted.
Any cop caught for a moving violation , incl. DWI will be let go as a matter of “professional courtesy”.

Cops guilty of felonies like use & distribution of drugs, theft, assaults and sexual misconduct are often not prosecuted if they resign as if that’s punishment enough.

Urban legend. No evidence given.

Any cop caught for a moving violation , incl. DWI will be let go as a matter of “professional courtesy”.

Any cop? Obviously, that is not true. Please do not make broad, blanket statements about a group of people.

This used to be a big problem in the past, not so much today though. I have a good friend that is a retired cop, he retired in the mid 90s, some of the ‘look the other way’ stories he tells from my area are crazy.

…one that made me shake my head, a friend was building a log splitter and needed a very heavy thick piece of steel for the main body, so back in the late 80s, 3rd shift cops had keys to all the local businesses, (in case they needed to get in overnight), the guy got another on duty cop to help him load a 4ft section of railroad track into the trunk to give to his friend! They got it from a business in the area at the time. He said the business never reported it and he assumed it was junk anyway, but still, that is wrong to do for anyone without asking.

Now, keep in mind, I do not know for sure if this was really a crime, for all he knew maybe the cop had permission from the owner prior to taking it, but the way he tells it, the owner had no clue about it and never even noticed it was missing, so… who knows.

That’s good news that corruption is not tolerated.

Actually, we cannot determine that from this data. We can say that not all corruption is tolerated. But I have enough experience with governments to know that all government agencies have corruption that is not punished.

We can determine from the 1100 cases persecuted per year, that corruption is not tolerated in those instances.

Yes, in some cases, corruption is not tolerated. That does not imply that government bureaucrats are trustworthy.

I can certainly think of my share of “cop arrested for DUI” stories even in my local news. So obviously it’s not true that “any cop” gets away scot-free for that particular offense.

Unfortunately, the study is probably not going to change anyone’s beliefs about the corruptness of police, since it’s easy to explain the stats away the way most posters have so far. It does seem that there is more anti-LEO sentiment these days than, say, 10 years ago.

The idea that the average cop is just a “government bureaucrat” really seems to be new. Police misconduct has always been a problem, of course, but a lot of people seem to be questioning the legitimacy of the idea of a government run police force in general, even at the local level.

Sure many of them do seem to get arrested for DUIs, but thats usually the last we hear about it too, I just wonder what happens when they actually go to their court hearing, and if the charges are lowered or dropped.

I agree with the last part of your post too, it seems the younger generation is questioning local police authority more, they are more willing to stand there videotaping their encounter, and hopefully more parents are teaching their kids to learn and exercise their rights when it comes to interacting with police, instead of the old blanket statement to just obey and do anything they tell you or answer any question they ask.

I saw a great video of this constitutional lawyer that was walking down the sidewalk and someone had called about him carrying a gun, turns out he had a license, but he refused to give the cop his name or ID, said he was doing nothing suspicious and the person that called about him is the one who needs to be questioned. After the cops supervisor showed up, it turns out the guy never had to give his ID, so he knew his rights, but any other person would have likely been intimidated into giving in to the cops request.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit